Theatre makers in practice

The following scheme of work looks at how to apply the methodology of Joan Littlewood to a production of Sophocles’ Antigone in relation to Edexcel A level, Component 3, Section C. This final question of the Edexcel A level written paper, Interpreting one performance text in the light of one practitioner for a contemporary audience, is worth 24 marks. The whole paper is marked out of 80 and is worth 40 per cent of the whole A level. This essay asks students to put themselves in the role of a director. They need to be able to craft a detailed outline communicating their knowledge of the text, Antigone, and its original performing conditions, together with their understanding of a key practitioner's methods. This scheme of work focuses on Joan Littlewood. Not only are they expected to convey this, but be able to apply them to a specific unseen extract and target them to the key demands of the question. This is perhaps the hardest element of the Edexcel specification and student feedback suggests it is still the one with which they most struggle. The following scheme of work is designed to help teachers who might want to adapt it to the specific demands of their timetables. In my experience it is wisest to explore both text and practitioner practically so that students fully engage with the role of a director. Once they see the creative possibilities of the methods in a practical capacity, they are far more likely to communicate those more effectively on paper. The students then need time to be able to practise writing this experience in well argued, concisely communicated and tightly structured essays. Overview of this scheme Part 1: Reading and Research Research and explore Joan Littlewood's methods Read and explore Antigone Research original context. Part 2: Practical exploration Develop links between Sophocles’ and Littlewood's intentions Explore chorus interpretations Characters and relationships Design elements. Part 3: Writing the essay Targeting the question Structuring an answer Using subject specific vocabulary.